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Bulgaria again urged to review its policy regarding OMO "Ilinden" - Pirin

April 23, 2008

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Council of Europe Source:

On Tuesday 15 April 2008 in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr Lambert of Belgium put the following question to Mr Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights:

"I would like to raise the issue of the political party OMO "Ilinden" PIRIN in Bulgaria. As members should be aware, that political party was deregistered by the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria in 2000, thus making it impossible for it to stand for election. In 2005 the European Court of Human Rights found that that was a violation of Article 11 of the Convention. Following that judgment, the political party tried to re-register twice in vain. To my knowledge, Bulgaria did not fully execute the Court decision and the party remains unregistered. I know that your office has been engaged on this issue. Will you inform us about the situation and the expectations of Bulgaria to respect the re-registration of the party? Do you think that that might happen during 2008?"

Commissioner Hammarberg responded with the following:

"Some weeks ago, I raised the issue in Sofia with the foreign minister. I see this as a question of loyalty to and proper execution of Court decisions. There have been a couple of clear decisions on the matter. I hope that the Bulgarian authorities will review the situation and move in the direction that the Committee of Ministers and I have recommended."

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